Start-Up Powered Job Creation

A long time friend and colleague Ben Blanquera asked me to sit on a panel of experts chartered with providing fast feedback to a group of young entrepreneurs in the throws of launching their new companies.

The 10-xelerator or “10x” is the newest New Venture Accelerator launching this summer in Columbus, Ohio. 10x is a mentorship-driven investment program designed for energetic game-changing entrepreneurs ( 10x is partnering with Ohio’s New Entrepreneur (ONE) Fund, an innovative business accelerator launched as a pilot program and designed to attract and retain the best and brightest talent.

10x includes a unique collaboration between the leading start-up resources in central Ohio and The ONE Fund, a newly formed grant funding program sponsored by the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Program.

  • 10 young entrepreneurial teams will be selected from within Ohio and outside of the state.
  • $20,000 grant for each team from The ONE Fund to support business and living expenses.
  • 11-week intensive summer development program beginning June 13, 2011.
  • The program culminates on September 1, 2011 with the New Venture Showcase where each participating team will present their start-up opportunities to highly motivated local, regional and national angel and venture capital investors.
  • NCT Ventures believes so strongly in the 10x accelerator program that it has guaranteed up to $200,000 in follow-on venture funding to the top young entrepreneurial team to complete the program in the summer of 2011.

Each young company got 10 minutes on the floor. Each gave a quick overview of company, and described what issues they were dealing with. Then the experts chimed in with advice. Many entrepreneurs and experts then paired off post-presentation to continue the dialog.

It was a privilege to sit on the 10x panel with my technical colleagues many of whom I’ve worked with over the last 2+ decades of doing IT related work in Central Ohio. The presenters were great, their enthusiasm encouraging and infectious. The advice provided was insightful and often times humorous. It was truly a great evening.

We need more of these events and activities. I applaud those working to support local start-ups. And I’m more than willing to do my part to help. Encouraging start-ups that can grow into the next Microsoft or Google is what we need to get the US economy out of the doldrums. I say fertilize the tech guys.